Cumbria food banks

Dozens of churches in Cumbria provide food the to vulnerable and needy. Each location will have limited hours and items available, but the aim of the charity organisations is to help the low income stay healthy. The food banks can provide free groceries, some churches serve hot meals, and volunteers from the not-for-profits will often signpost people to other local schemes and benefits.

Most of the locations are part of either the North Lakes Foodbank organisation or the Trussell Trust network. These are the two main providers in Cumbria, however there are other centres that the vulnerable and homeless can turn to.

When using one of these locations, most will require either a voucher or a referral from the individual. This may require the person to go through an assessment, and they will need to prove they have a need for free, healthy food. This voucher can often be obtained from Citizens Advice, Housing floating teams, a social worker, or even the council’s community support team, and that government authority can be ringed at 01228 221100.

Find food and groceries from churches

North Lakes Foodbank is the leading agency and volunteers and staff partner with churches across the region. They have locations in Allerdale and Copeland as well as other towns, and there are many collection points for donations. Care professionals need to refer the family or individual to the charity or give them a voucher to use the food bank, but there are many individuals that can provide this service, ranging from doctors to social workers and people from a local charity.

If a person has been found eligible, they will be given a parcel of food that will have enough groceries and perishable goods to last up to 3 days. The box can contain milk, meats, fruits, and other goods, and they will try to provide nutritional items to the elderly and children too. It depends on what was collected from supermarkets, churches, and volunteers. The food can help people that have had a reduction in benefits, have lost their job, or that are ill.

Signposting is also provided by North Lakes. Or some people will be eligible for free advice from Care Professionals, and call 07502311452 for more information. Or the distribution points for a food parcel are at the churches below.

  • Cockermouth – Residents can drop in at Lorton Street Methodist Church on Tuesday Wednesday or Thursday from 10-12.
  • Wigton area – The Methodist Church runs a food bank at High Street.
  • Maryport – St Mary’s Church provides free parcels in a crisis to people with a voucher.
  • Whitehaven – The location for groceries or even a meal is New Life Church on Irish Street. This centre is open Monday to Thursday from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm.
  • Workington – The Bridge Centre at Central Square is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12 pm to 2 pm.

All of the locations are part of Northbank. To use any of the sites in Cumbria above, a voucher is needed. To donate food, or volunteer, almost all churches in Copeland and Allerdale will collect items.

Food banks that are part of the Cumbria County Trussell Trust network are another option. The two main locations in the area are The Methodist Church Basement, Main Road, Windermere, LA23 1DY (phone 01539 422569) as well as Lorton Street Methodist Church, Lorton Street, Cockermouth, CA13 9RH (telephone 01900 823854). Both of these also have churches and other groups that provide emergency food to the low income with a voucher.

Other Cumbria locations for assistance

The local council government scheme known as Ways to Welfare can provide vouchers to the low income and vulnerable. People on a low income with no other resources can use assistance from the scheme for a bag of food in a crisis. Find how to get referrals from Cumbria Ways to Welfare.

The Salvation Army helps people in poverty. They operate the Penrith Food Bank, and the post is Hunters Lane, Penrith Cumbria, CA11 7UY. Call 01768 866732. in addition to free food parcels, there is homeless assistance and other support. Find more details on Cumbria Salvation Army.

Elim Community Church is based in Carlise. They offer low cost meals from the coffee shop, and this is for anyone in Cumbria. However the food bank is focused on people local to the town of Carlise. The charity also offers a CAP debt assistance centre, which will also help families budgeting properly in the future so they can afford their groceries in the future. Find more details on the Elimm Community Church food and debt programmes.

King’s Food Bank helps people and residents of Kendal only. Almost 2,000 meals are served per month to individuals with referrals, and they also offer emergency boxes of non-perishable groceries and other support from their food bank. Volunteers keep this organisation running, and they even deliver items to the sick or elderly.

Furness Homeless Support Group at 27 Bath Street is for people sleeping rough in Cumbria. They can be provided lunch, tea, and other hot meals from the day centre. But the aim of the charity is to get people into a new home, but food can be provided while that occurs. Telephone – 01229 821134.

Manna House is another charity for those in poverty. Not only may they serve a meal or pass out a free parcel of food, but they also offer workshops of cooking and much more. The post is Castle Lodge, Aynam Road, Kendal, LA9 7DE, telephone 01539 725534. Many other services are available, and read more Manna House services.


Janice Eilbeck says:

I will be a Cockermouth Methodist church tomorrow for food bank. We need a week supply as the government has stopped our money and we have been advised by Wigton CAB to come here to Cumbria. We need to use this Cumbria centre as we missed Wigtin opening hours and citizen advise Workington advised us to come to one. So we will be in Cockermouth tomorrow. We need help as we have been going hungry. We need a weeks supply of free food and thank you.